Olympic Games 2024 – What commitments for a sustainable and inclusive Games? » PACA’s economic and political letter

The City of Paris was chosen, in September 2017, to host the 2024 edition of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (JOP).

For the first time, it was decided to make the Games an example of a sustainable, inclusive and united international event.

With several billion viewers in each edition, the Olympic Games are the showcase event par excellence. At the heart of the Paris 2024 project, the notion of heritage: a material heritage, with infrastructures designed to be reused or recycled, and a human heritage, with the desire to be a vector of social and economic integration these Games.

For Tony Estanguet, President of Paris 2024, “Sport should make it possible to strengthen social cohesion, to create a better society”. A debate on this topic took place at Convergence in September 2018. Games with three zeros (zero poverty, zero unemployment, zero carbon), are they possible?


From its candidacy stage, one of the goals of the city of Paris for these 2024 Games is to make it the first global event that is in line with the requirements of the Paris Climate Agreement of 2015. The ambition is to allow Olympic athletes to swimming in the Seine is one of its strong symbols. The Paris 2024 project is now part of the philosophy of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which expressed its desire in its 2020 Agenda “to include sustainability in all aspects of the Olympic Games” and to end the financial and ecological that abyss represented, in every edition, of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. The IOC now favors projects that are ecologically and socially responsible, and financially sound.

In this perspective, the first aspect of the sustainable aspect of this 2024 Games is clearly “zero carbon”. Based on feedback from the London Games in 2012, and Rio in 2016, the Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games (OCOG) in Paris has set its own carbon goals: its ambition is to reduce carbon by 55% compared to previous edition. . As for the remaining emissions, it is expected that they will be offset thanks to an envelope of 31 million euros. OCOG shows a clear desire to control energy expenditure and to fight all forms of pollution, carbon, but also noise and light. To this end, all sports venues are equipped with equipment for measuring and monitoring air quality, noise pollution and light pollution. In addition, it is expected that 100% of the energy used before and during the Games will be renewable and recoverable energy.

In terms of waste, in addition to waste collection and sorting operations throughout the duration of the Games, the aim is to reduce the production of waste itself, to organize “economic Games” in the words of Elisa Yavchitz, general manager of Les Canaux in Paris, with “less consumption, and more reuse”. Solideo, an EPIC company created especially for the Paris Games and in charge of delivering the Olympic and Paralympic village and media village, wants to make these structures permanent and 100% reused or recycled, through of changing them in the eco-neighborhood. During the preparation phase for the Games, priority will be given to “sustainable” purchases, to achieve 95% reuse or recycling of waste, and 80% during the Games.


The Paris 2024 JOPs, supported by Muhammad Yunus, 2006 Nobel Peace Prize winner, are also intended to be inclusive and supportive. The Yunus Center, Paris 2024, Solideo and Les Canaux signed an agreement in November 2016 for the first inclusive and solidarity-based Olympic and Paralympic Games, “ESS 2024”, supporting companies in the social and solidarity economy to facilitate their access to the economic benefits of the Games.

For Georgina Grenon, Director of Environmental Efficiency for Paris 2024, “The goal is to include the principles of inclusiveness in all economic activities related to setting up the Games”. Although it is estimated that the Games will employ 150,000 people, mostly seasonal contracts, Etienne Thobois, CEO of OCOG 2024, wants “concrete benefits for the inhabitants”.

Which inhabitants are we talking about? Of course, residents of Ile-de-France, but more specifically residents of the department of Seine-Saint-Denis, a sensitive territory of Ile-de-France, which consists of 40% City Policy Districts (QPV) and where the unemployment rate is particularly high. But Seine-Saint-Denis is also a “very young territory” and therefore “full of opportunities” for François Dechy, founder of the social enterprise Baluchon and ambassador of the territorial brand “In Seine-Saint-Denis” , which aims to promote the development of new economic projects in Seine-Saint-Denis. Voluntarily subject to public procurement law, Solideo will be able to insert integration clauses in its calls for tenders and thus favor integration companies and SSE structures, without favoring a geographical area or reserve markets to certain structures. In total, several tens of thousands of contracts should be awarded until 2024, in all sectors related to the organization of the Games (security, reception, hygiene, equipment, catering, etc.).

The OCOG has published a social charter to affirm the ambition to make sport “the engine of economic, social and solidarity development”, through two main objectives: 10% of the hours worked for the Games will be dedicated in integration , and 25% of the amount of work allocated for SMEs and VSEs, and for companies in the social and solidarity economy (ESS). It remains to be seen how these companies will succeed in positioning themselves in soft markets, facing large groups, when no discrimination, even positive, is possible, in the application of public procurement law. For Mathieu Cornieti, CEO of Impact Partners, a solution can be found in setting up co-contracting or sub-contracting partnerships between SMEs, VSE and SSE companies, and large groups, partnerships with the balance will be ensured by contractual clauses.

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